NSW has again hit a daily record in COVID-19 infections, with the state reporting 3,057 new cases on Tuesday.
New South Wales has reported 3,057 new cases of COVID-19 – a new national record in daily case numbers.
It comes just two days after the state set Australia’s record in daily case numbers, recording 2,566 infections on 19 December.
NSW has also recorded two deaths and there are currently 284 people in hospital and 39 people in intensive care.
There are 392 people in hospital in Victoria, of which 73 people are in intensive care.
As Omicron spreads throughout the country, long waiting times have been reported at COVID-19 testing sites and rapid antigen tests are flying off shelves ahead of Christmas celebrations.
National cabinet will meet on Wednesday to discuss speeding up booster shots, requiring people to get three COVID-19 jabs to be considered fully vaccinated and mask mandates.
NSW premier Dominic Perrottet said on Monday the state recommended masks but he felt each individual should take “personal responsibility” for their health rather than wait for mandates to be introduced.
Rules changed for international arrivals
NSW has eased requirements for international arrivals, with fully vaccinated travellers no longer having to isolate for 72 hours.
From Tuesday, overseas arrivals to Sydney will have to get a COVID-19 PCR test within 24 hours and isolate at home until they return a negative result.
Unvaccinated adult travellers are still required to complete 14 days of hotel quarantine.
The new rules are in line with Victoria but international travellers in NSW must also undergo another test on the sixth day after arriving.
International flight crew members who arrive in Australia and are fully vaccinated must self-isolate until they have a negative COVID-19 test result, or until they depart on a flight leaving Australia.
NSW Health is urging people to keep wearing masks indoors and health experts are calling for a return to mask mandates indoors, as nervous people cancel or reconsider summer holiday travel plans.
A week after mask requirements were removed for all but the highest risk settings, Premier Dominic Perrottet says it’s time for “personal responsibility”.
“We are treating the people of our state like adults,” he said on Monday.
Meanwhile, there are long queues at testing facilities as people seek reassurance they won’t have to go into isolation for Christmas and pharmacies and shops are running out of Rapid Antigen Tests.
NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant is urging caution this Christmas and recommended people take a rapid antigen test before going to an indoor gathering.
“Choose outdoor, well-ventilated places for gatherings and limit the size of those gatherings,” she said.